Classic Accessories Colorado - suitable for moving water?

Tom Savelle

Learning enough to illustrate how little I know
I'm thinking about purchasing a used CA Colorado.

I've checked out the forum a bit, and I see a wide range of thoughts on the boat: inexpensive/cheap, some issues with adapters for pumps, etc.

There seems to be very little chatter about using it on moving water. That's my end game really - drifting more so than lake-use.

Who has an opinion about this boat - and boats in this class - on moving water? I'm talking particularly about the Yak. I realize that Ensign to Bullfrog is different than the Canyon in terms of water - and I welcome thoughts about both scenarios.
It can be done, but I would go with a partner. I use a cheap low end Creek Company pontoon for the same applications. It's probably about the same quality as that boat. The Creek Company might be a little more durable. Be real careful and baby the boat and you'll probably be fine. Oh, the weak point is likely the oars and/or oar locks. You don't want to get into a situation where you really need to crank and the oars bend or oar locks fail. SO AVOID STUFF REAL EARLY!

I bet you could find a better boat used for not too much more that you wouldn't have to worry about.


John or "LC"
I think sometimes we fail to acknowledge that we're trusting our life to a tube or pontoon. I'm probably one out of 30 that always wears an inflatable vest regardless of where I am. We almost lost a close friend a few years ago when he turtled in his SFC. That incident caused Outcast to change their stripping apron design to a breakaway.

My views may be a bit extreme, but I would not trust my life with a piece of crap like the Colorado pontoons. I bought one and after looking at the construction returned it the next day. I wouldn't trust a Fish Cat either. I'd insist on either urethane bladders or bladderless, spend the money upfront, get my resale on the back end, wear a life vest, and know I'm a lot safer when paddling in water over my head 100' from the shore, especially if no one is around.

Sorry if this is offensive to some Fish Cat owners, I know there are thousands out there. It's just from personal experience that I'm very cautious on the water, especially when alone which I often am.

Tom Savelle

Learning enough to illustrate how little I know
Good intel. Thanks to you both. I spend a lot of time in and around water so this is an important conversation for me. Stakes are high, as you noted. Appreciate the straightforward feedback and welcome more.


John or "LC"
Tom, for moving water there are always pontoons on Craigslist. Obviously you don't want a U-boat, so look at Bucks, Outcast, Scadden. All good. Don't get the Colorado. It is hard to beat the upmarket Outcasts for quality, and the very light Scaddens for decent quality and light weight.

If it were me there'd be no question--I'd get a Scadden Renegade but they are about $1000 and very hard to find used and pricey when you do. I sold my two year old one for $750 I think within two days of listing. But, they are very good for stillwater and very light so that's why I prefer them. If you're mostly downriver, and want to save some money, I'd look for Bucks on Craigslist, like a South Fork, or an upmarket Outcast, the Outcast being the better but probably more expensive craft.
For moving water find a used Outcast or Bucks boat. You'll be a much happier camper in the end me thinks for river use, especially with some of the longer boats if possible (9+ feet). Especially one with a Stainless or Aluminum frame.
Just to point out the contrarian point of view, a friend and I owned Colorado pontoon boats for two years and used them to fish the Stilly, Yakima, John Day, and Grande Rhonde Rivers; all without incident. We always wore life jackets and carried camping gear on some trips. On the Grande Rhonde at 620 cfs we had to pull the boats over several gravel bars and were pleasantly surprised we could not see signs of scuffing on the pontoons at the end of the trip. I'm the first to admit that you get what you pay for, but the CA Colorado was adequate in my opinion for all of the previously mentioned rivers.

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
I've used mine on the Sauk, Skagit, Nookie, Sky and Morice. It's been fine. I have also used one to crab out of. They don't take salt well.

Go Sox,


Fish or Ski...Fish or!
I have one and have done the Spokane and Grande Ronde rivers numerous times. I've had the boat loaded for 3 day trips on the Ronde and have not had any issues.

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